“Music…..will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I came across this quote recently and was impressed with the depth of thought involved. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor born in the early 1900’s and was executed in 1945 in a concentration camp. He was involved in the German Resistance Movement against Nazism. Music to him was a spiritual revelation and when reading his words I am imagining his whole being uplifted by playing and listening to music. He fought many years against Hitler and was singled out to hang just before the war ended. His quote of “music…will keep a fountain of joy alive in you” is the essence of what playing music is about. As much as we complain about the business of music, lack of gigs, bad conductors, guitarists who rush, etc. when the music is happening everything falls into place. There is nothing like it! Oh yeah, when you’re “in the pocket” the world is cool.
Of course it doesn’t just come naturally (for most of us). And getting there is not easy. Hours and hours of practice, studying, playing; rehearsing over and over until you don’t think about your technique, just the music. You’re behind the drumset learning a new rhythm. Your coordination is way off. You’re frustrated. You keep practicing. A few days later, it’s sounding better. A week or so later you’ve almost nailed it. The discipline and focus you applied pays off. In a conversation with Grady Tate, a well respected studio drummer, he explained at a certain stage he realized he could never play as fast as Buddy or some other guys so he concentrated on being as musical as possible. Technique is a means to an end and the end is the music. Good advice.
There is not a day that goes by that music is not in my life. I am very grateful and thankful for that and it does keep a fountain of joy alive in me.